It’s no secret that the US has seen huge growth in its solar market over the course of 2015 and the first half of this year. As mentioned in Energy Jobline’s previous article here, US Solar giant First Solar is now providing panels for as little as 40 cents a watt, which is roughly 15% less than China’s Trina Sola Ltd. China is the largest provider of solar power globally, but the US solar market is growing rapidly and is even treading on the toes of successful Chinese competitors.
So, what states are making the most substantial influence? There are a few states that spring to everyone’s minds upon first thought, such as California and Arizona. However, after really looking into this we were surprised at some of the results. See below:
California has grown considerably in recent times due to amount of community support received, low solar costs and a new requirement put in place, in the hope that 33% of California’s electricity derives from renewable sources by 2020.
Similar to California, New Jersey’s solar market has received a great deal of support from the Renewable Portfolio Standard, with the requirement that 22% of New Jersey’s electricity has to come from renewable sources by 2021, making it second to California.
According to ex-governor Janet Napolitano, Arizona has more than enough potential to become the “Persian Gulf of solar energy” The Solana Generating Station has a huge impact on the total solar power in Arizona, being the largest plant of its type globally at a capacity of 280 MW.
A 30% tax grant for solar installations was implemented in December 2011 in Massachusetts, which has seen the state’s solar power increase massively. This grant allows return of investment within 5 or 6 years and continues to generate income while the solar systems are running.
The Big Apple operates the largest solar farm in Eastern United States and is also predicting to build a new solar farm with the capacity of 50 MW, covering 250 acres of land. New York also participates in the Renewable Portfolio Standard and just fell sort (6%) of its 2015 goal, which was to generate 30% of its energy from renewable sources.
Large solar power stations are abundant in Nevada, mainly due to its huge potential for producing high amounts of solar power. Nevada is home to big players in the industry such as Summerlin Energy, Bombard Renewable Energy and Hamilton Solar.
Texas is thought to have the largest solar and wind potential in the US. Whilst already successful for natural gas and oil, once Texas is connected to the Eastern Grid (currently it is on a separate grid from the rest of the country) it will have the ability to transfer up to 30,000 MW.